Westbury Manor Museum will temporarily close its doors after Saturday 11th February, the first step of what will be an exciting transformation for the venue.
Westbury Manor Museum is a community museum, positioned in the centre of Fareham Town Centre that tells the story of Fareham's local history. A £665,000 project will see the museum turned into a vibrant new 'culture stop'.
As part of the project the current exhibitions will be modernised so that there is a mix of interactive exhibits and digital media. The reception area and café experience will all be remodelled, there will be a community space available for hiring and a shop selling local Hampshire produce.
The second floor will be converted into creative studios suitable for a local start up business with a cultural theme. Outside, the railings around the front courtyard will be removed to make the museum more open and welcoming and both the front and garden entrances will be remodelled.
Councillor Sue Bell, Executive Member for Leisure and Community at Fareham Borough Council, said: "This is an exciting project which will see Westbury Manor Museum become a dynamic modern venue appealing to even more visitors and meeting the needs of the future. I'm looking forward to seeing how work progresses over the coming months."
Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "We are delighted to be working with Fareham Borough Council on this exciting and unique opportunity to redevelop Westbury Manor Museum, transforming it into a vibrant and lively focal point in the heart of the community. When it re-opens in the summer, visitors will be greeted by some thrilling new exhibitions showcasing Fareham's rich and varied heritage, a bigger café, a much-enhanced shop."
The construction work is due to start later this month and estimated to take four months to complete. The museum is set to reopen in summer 2017 and will be managed and operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust.
If volunteering at the museum is something you might be interested in please contact the Museum Manager – Cerian.Trevan@hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk
Notes to editors
The investment includes £448,000 of funding from Fareham Borough Council. Hampshire Cultural Trust have obtained £100,000 grant funding for equipping the first floor exhibition space. A grant of £50,000 will assist the set up of the Café facilities and £67,000 in kind support has been contributed from Hampshire County Council Architects.
Two sources of funding have been identified to provide the £448,000 balance of funding from Fareham Borough Council.
Fareham Borough Council holds £285,000 in the Charity of Miss Winifred Nellie Cox. The bequest is for the funding of the Charity to be used either for a museum or for a public garden. The Council's Executive agreed that the bequest is used to part fund the works to re-model the Westbury Manor Museum.
This leaves a balance of £163,000 which will be funded from Fareham Borough Council's capital reserves.
An additional sum of up to £35,000 has been identified in the Town Centre Innovation Fund. This funding was provided to improve and enhance the town centre infrastructure. This will be used to create a sense of place in the Westbury Manor frontage with the creative use of contemporary street furniture, paving and landscaping.
There will be a new 10 year lease and management agreement between Fareham Borough Council and Hamphire Cultural Trust for the management of the Westbury Manor Museum. This new arrangement will provide a saving to the Council of £395,910 over the duration of the 10 year agreement.
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